It’s a lot easier to fully move on to a next stage in your life or business if you’ve taken the time to acknowledge what’s gone before. Actually, it’s essential because you can’t go forward properly until you’ve fully accepted where you are right now.
So please be kind to yourselves as you reflect on the following questions!
Allocate a time in your diary to attend to this exercise; allow at least an hour or so of uninterrupted time. Get your last year’s diary so you can easily remember what’s happened.
Now answer the questions below.
- What did you accomplish in the course of the last year? (this can be huge things you feel inordinately proud of, or just tiny things but in their own way, equally important)
- What did you learn in general? What business lessons did you learn?
- Did you have any dreams that came true?
- Did you have any disappointments? If so, what did you learn from them?
- How did you limit yourself? How can you stop that in the future?
- Did you have any areas that felt out of balance? (eg how many days did you take off from your work? Or did you need to actually work more, or in a more focused way?)
Your business figures
This is important because it is a factual measure of where you have been, where you are now and therefore helps you in where you want to go. So often I’ve heard people be disappointed in themselves until they look at their figures and see that they have actually made progress.
A: What was your gross profit? (that’s the total amount of money that came in to your business)
B: What were your total expenses?
C: And your net profit? (that’s A – B)
(Keep these figures, because you want to be able to compare them to next years).
Notice how you feel about this section. If you don’t know your figures, you will probably have to find them out for your tax return anyway, so you might as well do it now. But set up a system if you haven’t already got one, for monitoring this on a month by month basis. It makes it really easy when you come to do these questions!
When you write the figures down, you’re likely to feel ecstatic, pleasantly surprised, disappointed, embarrassed – or maybe some other emotion. Just check in and see how you feel. Remember they are only indicators of what’s been going on factually – they are NOT who you really are, NOT a measure of your self-worth, NOT set in stone. These figures can change, and will as you learn more, apply what you’re learning, and grow within yourself. Plus, that’s just what your lovely ego thinks – and the real you knows a lot better than that! So listen to your own wild wisdom if your reaction to your figures is less than you’d like it to be. In other words – be kind to yourself!
- Find out, if you don’t already know, what were your top-selling services or products. Set up a system to monitor this if you haven’t already done so.
- If you have a mailing list, by how much did it increase in 2014?
- If you do social media, what happened there? Did you make strategic decisions to increase or decrease your following? Why?
- What marketing actually worked for you? What was your most successful strategy?
Finally – what did you most love about your business in 2014? And what did you hate the most? And what are you most grateful for?
Now comes the creative bit – take a few moments to sit silently with the results of your questions. Listen to your own wild wisdom about how it wants to express your gratitude for what you have received and given this past year. It may be through colours, like mine; but you might rather sing your gratitude, paint it, sculpt it. You might want to dance it, cook with it, or sew something. Or you might want to knit, craft, or model something. This is your gift to yourself, expressing your own gratitude for everything that has happened this year, including all the things you weren’t so keen on, because they ALL have contributed to who you and your business are now. Wow!
Check out this link to get your 2015 Workbook from Leonie Dawson, so having let go of 2014 you can jump right into the next year in the most creative way possible!